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Omni-Slash Blog

Bringing the World Together One Plasma Gun at a Time......

Turning on the TV today, one would think that videogames are the root of all evil in the world. The news media has deemed gaming the cause of such social ills as theft, vandalism and even murder. From pre-teens throwing rocks at cars in Florida, to mentally disturbed high-school students killing their classmates in Colorado, the news media has continued to ignore the concept of personal responsibility and look towards the gaming industry as an easy target to invoke “outrage”. 

While the demonization of the industry has been par for the course when it comes to the media, the fact is there is at least one enormous aspect of gaming that continues to be overlooked. Gaming continues to bring people together like no other medium can. It doesn’t matter if you’re male, female, white, black, purple, rich, poor, gay, straight, the fact is we’re all just a bunch of dorks who like to game. Whether you are trying to save the world, score the game winning touchdown in the Superbowl or roll a big ball of stuff around, (do not even get me going on Katamari Damacy) when it comes to games we are nothing more than users on a system.

One may make the point that if we are nothing more than users, how can videogames be bringing us together? The answer to that is simple. Just look around, message boards filled with gamers from all over the world, different ethnicities, religious/political beliefs coming together to do nothing but talk about a hobby that they all enjoy as equals, a place where only your knowledge and skill separate you. This is just the beginning. Gamers continue to clamor for online gaming in all aspects of the industry, from MMORPGs, to downloadable content, to real-time voice chatting as you prepare to frag someone. In the coming years the online gaming community will continue to grow, bringing together previous cultures and socio-economic groups that would never have crossed paths before (unless of course you are forced to stand next to each other in a Department of Motor Vehicles line).

Not only that but with the fact that women continue to be the fastest growing portion of the online community, makes it only a matter of time until it is commonplace to find that the individual standing over your freshly killed online persona taunting you is your sister, or worse yet your mother,..or exponentially worse, your wife. Lets face it, when was the last time you spent any quality time with your family that didn’t involve your aunt Martha and a stuffed turkey? That’s the great part about the direction gaming is taking. Every generation of gamers are getting older and many are having children of their own, so it is quite conceivable when Halo 7 makes it to stores you’ll be dealing with teams of families out on the field of battle. (Watch out for team Mravlja!)

Unfortunately things are not perfect in Online Land, you still get your bigoted morons who can’t get over the fact that some player’s epidermal layers may have a little more or less pigment in them than their own. Or that someone’s English may not be up to his or her level but for the most part they are the vast minority. But these problems will become fewer and fewer with such things as online gaming becoming more and more prevalent in our society, in which normally sheltered individuals will be able to get out and interact with a world they know little about. 

The next time you hear a report on how gaming is causing mass violence and hooliganism, laugh it off. Be confident that for as many awful things the media wants you to believe about gaming there are just as many good things that gaming and gamers are creating or at least laying the groundwork for in our world.

Tis the Season

Halloween is perhaps my favorite holiday of the year, I mean who didn’t grow up wanting to be ghosts and goblins or laying the smack down on vampires? What better way to is there to spend Halloween weekend than to sit down with your favorite survival-horror title or better yet sit down with the original family of ghostly eradication, the Belmonts.

In the eighties Simon Belmont jumped onto the scene with whip in hand and put a hurting on legions of the undead in the NES classic Castlevania. The gameplay was incredible yet simple; walk, whip, jump spikes, repeat. But what separated Castlevania out from the hundreds of games that were so similar at the time, the atmosphere and the game’s ability to play on our imagination. Storming an eerie castle in an attempt to put an end to Dracula’s bid for control over the world, who couldn’t get excited by the idea? Fighting Frankenstein’s Monster, Mummies and such, in dank tunnels or on top of a clock tower excited us to no end. It didn’t matter that everything was pixilated to the point that you couldn’t out Simons face. Our imaginations, boosted by purposely-dreary music and seemingly impossible split second decisions created a tension that even today’s great horror games strive to recreate. Then came Castlevania 2 Simon’s Quest, a love it or hate it kind of game. (The fact that so many people dislike it still amazes me to this day, considering how many elements Symphony of the Night pulled from it, and the majority generally considers SotN, to be the best in the series.) Simon’s quest was an attempt to bring many RPG elements to a very basic formula. NPC’s, upgradeable weapons, hidden items and a non-linear quest helped create the sense that you really were in Simon Belmont’s world. By roaming through forests, caves, and battling more powerful creatures as night falls upon the land Konami succeeded again in creating a creepy backdrop in which Simon could assemble the remains of Dracula and dispatch his curse for good.

Throughout the years there have been many adventures of the Belmont family from the PC to the GameBoy Advance, some heralded and others ripped apart. Yet the main components of the great series can be found in these first two installments. From gameplay elements, to the atmosphere each one creates with the series’ trademarked soundtracks and stylish settings each successive game owes its identity in part to these NES classics. 

This Halloween I beg you put down your fancy PS2s and Gamecubes. Let go of those X-box controllers. Go to your closet and dust off your NES and go on a quest to rid the world of Dracula with the Belmont Clan. Trust me, you won’t be sorry you did.

The Lazy Man's Entry

I just thought I'd post somehting I originally wrote for my site.....kinday swamped so my original stuff is going to have to take a back seat for the next couple of days.....

Tales of an Aging Gamer

Time, it’s something none of us really ever think about until we realize there’s never enough of it. I’ve been
gaming ever since my grandparents gave me a 2600 for my 9th birthday. The obsession started instantly. At first my brother enjoyed playing against me in games such as Combat and Kaboom, but while he was using the night to catch up on things like sleep and T.V. viewing, I continued to play. It wasn’t long before he began getting beat like Inferior Being he was. Many a controller were destroyed in his fits of frustration. But it was at this time I realized I wanted to spend all my time gaming.

Time marches on. Systems come and go. I realize that I’m a sucker for RPGs. Final Fantasy becomes my drug of choice after falling in love with the simple yet addictive gameplay of the original on my NES. While not the poorest kid in school money was always tight. I never got more than 2 games a year until I was old enough to start mowing lawns and making my own money. Any new releases I played were generally from renting or more than likely, borrowing them from my friends, but it never prevented me from spending all my time gaming. It didn't matter if I had already beaten a particular game 50 times it never stopped me from playing it again and again. To some point friends and even family took a back seat to my compulsion.

Then came college, one would think that studies would prevent me from pursuing my love of gaming, but how wrong they’d be. College only reinforced my addiction. Purchasing a Nintendo 64 the summer before I departed guaranteed that many nights in the dorm were spent destroying my friends in bursts of gunfire via Goldeneye or playing Drunken Mario Kart 64 (All Rights Reserved) until the wee hours of the morning. Then came my Junior year. Living in a suite with 4 of my friends (actually 3 friends and an interloper, but that's a different story) I convinced the inteloper to buy a little game called Final Fantasy VII for his Playstation. Though he never played it I was instantly absorbed into its world. Shinra Inc became my most hated enemy only to be surpassed by Sephiroth's dispicable act. At this point games became all consuming. Classes were blown off, parties ignored, or when I came home at 2am from a party the first thing I would do is stumble over to the Playstation and do some leveling up until daylight.

Well college is a distant memory. Marriage and fatherhood has replaced gaming as the priority of my existance. Yet gaming is still an important aspect of who I am, unfortunately with all my new responsibilities and love time has not been so kind as to extend itself. there are still a measily 24 hours in a day. Balancing gaming while having a full time job, school, (which I should have completed the 1st time through) fatherhood and being a husband is quite a daunting task. While I use to be able to pull off all night gaming sessions every Friday and Saturday Night, these days it's hard to keep my eyes open past midnight. Even when I do manage to break the 2 or even 3am barrier I am surely bound to pay for my indescretion. For just as time stands still for no one, nor does a 2 year old sleep past 5am.

Well what's the point of this piece you may ask. I guess it is that no matter what your life entails don't give up on your hobbie. Enjoy your time spent playing each title, even though it may not be for as long as you used to. Get the most out of each game you play. Don't only beat each one, master it. For as much as we'd like to hurry through each of our titles to get our hands a the newest one, there's just not enough time in the world to play them all.

A New Day

Well I've finally done it, I've relaunched my website I hope all of you take the time to check it out and if any of you would like to submit a review feel free to PM me. I really like the layout, now all i have to do is work on content.........I'm stoked t finally get some time to play ToS this weekend. i have no responsibilities other than to be my normal happy self this weekend and of course go to the Zoo with my wife an son........anyay that's all....and remember Omni-Slash for Mod in 05!

Kinda bummed I am...

Well another list of mods......and yet another no go for your's truely........not that I specifically placed a request this round...but I had emailed Bethany in the past showing that I was interested.......anyway i do want to say congrats to all you who made it're all a great bunch of forumers that deserved the honor........

anyway onto the happy stuff....I picked up The Dark Tower by Steven King...if you haven't read any of the need to.....I've been reading them since college....('96)......can't wait to see the conclusion......other than that I've been burrying myself in Tales of Symphonia........I've just made it to the mountain pass........I just wish I could get more time to play.......bought my best friend a Gamecube as a wedding gift...(the MP edition)...figured since weddings are all about the bride...he could use something for himself..........

....and on that note...Smallville season premiere is tonight.....I'm such a junkie.....anyway....that's all I've got to say...have a happy!

Day1...I wake to find myself in a jail...with only a green herb and a flashlight

Got off at work last night.....made my way home only to find that I had no power......after putting my son to bed my wife proceeded to beat me like a red-headed step child in was damn near humiliating....then I realized it was Uno........oh well.....I played some Breath of Fire II on my GBA SP.....not really sure what to think of the game I playing it cause it's an RPG and I'm an RPG whore?.....or is it entertaining? coming soon...

..this weekend I plan on taking the time to finish painting my gameroom and writing some game reviews for my site which I should be able to finally get to update next week.......plan on finishing up chronotrigger tonight...and since the big FFVII vs FFVIII debate seems to have errupted in the GGD I may play FFVIII and FFVII again side by side...or I may finally put some time in Tales of Symphonia which I love but haven't had the time to really dedicate playing it........have a good weekend all......